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Minnesota needs fewer rules and fees to solve its affordable housing problem, not more government spending

The 'affordable housing crisis' in Minnesota is a creation of state and local government. The solution is not to have them intervene more, as Governor Dayton proposes to do with his proposal to spend $100 million on affordable housing statewide, but to have them get out of the way. It is the regulations and fees imposed by these people that have created the problem. Stop imposing them. Get rid of the impositions that there are. Pursue a solution that actually deals with the causes of the problem. ...

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Minnesota ranks 11th nationally for increases in occupational licensing requirements

Occupational licensing requirements are presented as 'consumer protection' but really only protect producers, making us all worse off. Minnesota has, traditionally, had an accommodating environment but between 2012 and 2017, the rate of growth of the breadth and burden of Minnesota's occupational licensing requirements was the 11th highest in the country and nearly double the national rate of 4%. ...

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Duluth Ordinance Could Give Part-Timers More Paid Time Off Than Full-Time Workers

This is what happens when elected officials get into the business of micromanaging how companies compensate their employees through mandated paid leave time. The Duluth City Council's amateurish attempt to play Human Resources manager for the port city's businesses led to an embarrassing outcome at the latest meeting of the Earned Sick and Safe Time Task Force, according to the Duluth News Tribune. At a Thursday evening agenda session meeting, another complication came to light. Council President Elissa Hansen and 2nd District Councilor Joel Sipress flagged a concern with the accrual system laid out in the proposed ordinance. "We've identified what appears to us to...

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Minnesota’s Copper and Nickel Deposits are World Class

Minnesota has a long history of mining iron ore, which continues to this day. In fact, nearly 75 percent of the iron ore produced in the United States is mined in Minnesota. However, many people may not be aware of the fact that Minnesota has some of the largest undeveloped copper and nickel deposits in the world. These massive deposits hold an estimated 4 billion tons of copper, nickel, and other precious minerals. These minerals are valued at more than $40 billion, according to Antofagasta PLC, a Chilean mining company that is seeking to develop these deposits. Developing these resources will create...

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Minnesotans Should Save $200 Million on Gas and Electric Bills Thanks to Federal Tax Cut

Minnesotans' power bills keep heading in the wrong direction. As American Experiment's report, Minnesota Energy Policy: The High Cost of Failure, recently revealed, it's no secret why. At least $15 billion in Minnesota has been squandered on wind turbines and transmission lines with little to show for  it--except for jacked up utility bills. Green energy mandates have cost state consumers billions without achieving environmentalists' goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Last year for the first time, Minnesotans spent more than the national average on their power bills, wiping out what used to be an 18 to 20 percent price advantage before...

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Here’s an issue we can all agree on: End ridiculous, anti-competitive occupational licensing

Reforming excessive state-based occupational licensing requirement is the issue that has a U of M labor professor sounding like a disciple of Milton Friedman and expressing strong support for legislation supported by the Trump Administration and the Republican Congress. Work to fix this anti-competitive abuse begun under the Obama Administration but progress has been difficult since all this regulation takes place at the state level.  But now a recent court case has opened the door to action by Congress that could spur reform at the state level. Even so, it was a joy to read in today’s Star Tribune the brilliant op-ed...

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Electricity utilities are less likely to invest under ‘liberal’ regulators

Regulation imposes a huge burden on the American economy and holds back economic growth. New research shows, for example, that electricity utilities are less likely to invest under 'liberal' regulators than 'conservative' ones, which reduces reliability. Current efforts to roll back this mass of regulation are to welcomed. ...

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Feds Reverse Controversial Ban on Northern MN Mining

Northern Minnesotans looking to reverse the Obama administration's last-minute arbitrary ban on mineral exploration just got an unexpected holiday gift out of the blue to the shock of just about everyone, including the Star Tribune. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Friday unexpectedly opened up access to hard rock mining on the borders of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Voyageurs, reversing an Obama decision that might have protected the wilderness indefinitely. In an opinion posted on the agency’s website, officials said that contrary to its decision a year ago, it does not have the discretion to deny Twin Metals its leases for copper...

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